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Another Journalistic Buyout...

There was once a Dilbert cartoon about buyouts: "management says we have to pay the competent people to leave."

At coffee I discover that David Cay Johnston had taken a buyout from the nyt and is now out on his own as an independent journalist.

Four thoughts:

  • I understand why neither the journal news nor the ft news pages have picked him up--both organizations are under pressure, psychological-organizational benefits of growing your own, etc. But why hasn't Bloomberg? There's a lot of value there, and it is still expanding.
  • Somebody--the Prospect?--should get this man a weblog.
  • His next big project is going to be a look at global water. He asks: why aren't we already shipping water around the globe on supertankers for pennies a gallon? Why doesn't this market exist (yet)? Very good question.
  • If water becomes expensive, some of the poor will have no income and die of thirst. Cf. Amartya Sren on the Bengal famine. Gf. recent global food price runup.
  • Another good question: there is now a lot of money locked up in db pensions: cash-flow rights with no control rights st all. When will the raids on them to tunnel them out begin--leaving the pbgc holding the bag? Can anything stop these raids?